Romania’s ruling party, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), decided on Tuesday, October 1, to support MEP Dan Nica for the position of European Commissioner for Transport in the new European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen, sources within PSD told local Agerpres.
Nica was one of the two commissioner proposals that Romanian prime minister Viorica Dancila sent to EC president-elect Ursula von der Leyen in September, alongside Rovana Plumb. Von der Leyen reportedly told Dancila at that time that Romania’s proposals made the EC vulnerable in the process of getting the European Parliament’s endorsement, according to political sources quoted by G4media.ro. The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee rejected Rovana Plumb’s appointment as commissioner for transport due to conflict of interest. As a result, the EC president-elect asked Romania to send “a suitable nominee” for the portfolio. Moreover, sources close to von der Leyen said Romania needed to send its nomination fast or risk losing this important portfolio, according to Mediafax.
The opposition in Romania criticized PSD and PM Viorica Dancila for their first commissioner choice. They asked president Klaus Iohannis to step in and supervise the process of nominating a new candidate. Iohannis called Dancila for consultations on Wednesday, but the PM hinted that she wouldn’t go. Instead, the PSD’s Executive Committee (CEx) voted on Tuesday on a new nominee from within the party. The options were Dan Nica and Victor Negrescu, a former minister for European Affairs in the cabinets of Mihai Tudose and Viorica Dancila. Nica received most votes.
Dan Nica, 59, has been a MEP since July 2014. He also served as a member of the Romanian Parliament from 1996 until 2014 and was communications minister in the Adrian nastase cabinet, from 2000 until 2004, and in the Victor Ponta cabinet, from May 2002 until February 2004. He was also minister of interior in the Emil Boc cabinet from January until October 2009.
Nica is one of eight former Romanian ministers targeted by the National Anticorruption Directorate - DNA’s investigation into the Microsoft overpriced licenses case, one of the biggest corruption cases in Romania. However, Nica was never officially prosecuted in this case and the case against him was closed because the prosecutors failed to finish the investigation and send him to court in due time.
(Photo source: Wikipedia)
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